Balasore, India: The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, the only one of its kind in the world, and jointly developed by India and Russia, underwent a successful test firing at the Interim Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here today. Defence sources said that the missile, launched at 11.21am on Sunday, met all mission parameters. The test firing of the 290 km range missile, it's fourteenth, was of a surface-to-surface version meant for induction in the Indian Army.
The test was carried out by army personnel and was designed to test the ability of the supersonic missile to carry out a number of exacting manoeuvers during its flight towards a pre-determined target. In attendance for the test were Lt Gen BS Pawar, commandant, School of Artillery, Major General VK Chaturvedi, additional director general, Artillery, and a host of other senior army officers.
Also in attendance were top missile scientist, Dr Sivathanu Pillai, CEO, BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd, and about 30 Russian scientists.
Lt Gen Pawar expressed complete satisfaction at the missile's performance, especially in its display of additional capabilities and meeting all other mission objectives.
BrahMos was fired for the first time on June 12, 2001 while the last trial was conducted on February 4 this year. The two-stage BrahMos is powered with a solid propellant booster and a liquid propellant ramjet system.
The defence minister, AK Antony congratulated Dr. Sivathanu Pillai, as well as scientists from the DRDO and specialists from Russia, for today's successful flight trial by the Army.
The eight-metre long missile, weighing three tonnes, has been configured so that it can be launched from the ground, ships, submarines and aircraft.
BrahMos was developed under an Indo-Russian joint venture programme following an agreement signed by the two countries on February 12, 1998. The name BrahMos is derived from the names of the two great rivers of India -- the Brahmaputra and Moskva.
India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia's NPO Mashinostroyenia have developed the missile under the project codenamed PJ-10.
Already in service aboard Indian Navy destroyers, the Indian Army will now be the second major customer for these missiles. The induction is expected to begin this year.
The BrahMos can attack surface targets, flying at altitudes as low as 10 meters. It can attain speeds of Mach 2.8, and has a maximum range of 290 km. It has a two-stage propulsion system, with a solid-propellant rocket for initial acceleration and a liquid-fueled ramjet responsible for sustained supersonic cruise. Air-breathing ramjet propulsion is much more fuel-efficient than rocket propulsion, giving the BrahMos a longer range than a pure rocket-powered missile would achieve.
The high speed of the BrahMos enables it to inflict more damage than slower cruise missiles such as the Tomahawk.
The BrahMos can be launched either in a vertical or inclined position and is capable of covering targets over a 360 degree horizon. The BrahMos missile has an identical configuration for land, sea, and sub-sea platforms. The air-launched version has a smaller booster and additional tail fins for added stability during launch.
The BrahMos is currently being configured for the Indian Air Force with the Su-30MKI as the designated platform.